MIDDLETOWN—Kids from 3 to 12 ran to the cheers of family and encouragement from legendary runner and native son Frank Shorter on June 4 at Middletown High School’s Faller Field during the annual 10K Classic.
According to Middletown High School varsity track coach Eric Hipsman, 212 children participated in the warm-ups and raced in various age groups.
Tessa Miranda wanted her sons, Michael Rivera, 9, and Emmanuel Rivera, 7, to participate “because we want to be a part of a community event that is healthy, gets one to move, and is tobacco free.”
Shorter—the Middletown-raised marathon runner who took gold at the 1972 Olympics and silver at the 1976 Olympics—is credited with helping start the running craze in the United States. He spoke to the younger runners about the benefits of running.
“I like the fact that [running] is far enough along in our society now that it’s being recognized, which is why you have these events.”
Shorter said kids who participate in events like this “find out that they simply like to move this way.”
Some may develop a lifelong commitment to running, find joy in it, and incorporate the sport into their daily life. Shorter said he ran to and from school just for the love of running. Later, it was a stress reliever in prep school and college.
“I hope a few of these kids find [the other benefits of running] in addition to simply having fun,” he said. Shorter was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984 and USA National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1989.
Crystal Run Healthcare has sponsored the 10K Classic for 10 years. Mark Trocino, director of marketing, said, “it’s important for us to get out into the community. We encourage a healthy lifestyle since it is part of our mission to make sure that we have a healthy community that we serve.”
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